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Tell Me about Yourself

jyothi godavarthy
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Joined: Jan 28, 2004
Posts: 135
One of the most common question in interviews is
"Tell me about yourself", what exactly does the interviewer wants to know about the person he is interviewing when he/she is asking this question, what do we need to tell him/her, any tips on this is welcome.
Another common question is
"Why are you leaving your previous company/why do you want to work here?"
Sameer Jamal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
here are some possible interview questions with answers, answers may not be the perfect one but it will give an idea what actually interviewer wants to ask.

How would you describe your personality? "I'm pretty even-tempered. I enjoy being part of a team and feel comfortable both making decisions and following directions."
Tell me about yourself and your past experience? "I have been working in Information Technology industry for last 4-5 years. I had an opportunity to work in teams and independently. I am very comfortable in both the environments. I have developed Client/Server and Intranet applications, involving full life cycle, which includes Requirement Phase, Analysis/Design, Development, Unit Testing, Integrating Testing, Customer/User Testing, and Rollout/Implementation. I have worked on various tools in my career, which includes MS Access, MS SQL Server, SQL, VBA, JavaScript, VB Script, COM/DCOM, ADO, Active X, ASP, HTML, DHTML, XML, XSL, CSS, Visual InterDev, Visual Basic, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Flash, Visual Source Safe and Adobe PhotoShop. I have always met the project deadlines, for which I had to work late hours and weekends. For the past two years, I have been working as a Web Developer. Where I have involved in the beginning of the project itself, i.e., Requirement gathering phase. Online Job Search is a successful multi-tier web-based application, which uses MS SQL Server 7.0 as backend data store and Visual Basic 6.0 and ASP as front-end. It provides a user-friendly platform for Job Seekers as well as Job Submitters, from across the globe to register, search and submit Vacancies in their local areas. We had meetings with the Customers/Users to get all the required information. This application gives various functionalities (forgotten password, Mailing list and etc) and different security levels to the Users and Administrators. My strengths are my client-relationship management skills, and my leadership ability."
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Pick a weakness that could also be consider a strength. "Sometimes I'm overly concerned with doing a good job and my boss tells me I drive myself too hard." Then mention your strengths: your ability to get the job done efficiently and on time; your pride in your work. Or also you can tell, My strength is my flexibility. As director of operations at a startup company, I've had to deal with and handle changes and new policies constantly. As far as weaknesses, I really enjoy my work, and sometimes I put in too much time on some projects. But by being aware of my tendency, I have learned to work smarter.

Why are you leaving your current job? Forget about the fact that you hate your boss and your co-workers drive you crazy. Instead, say, "I'm ready to take on more responsibilities and learn more, but the opportunities at my current job are limited. Or I've set some goals for myself and my career, and unfortunately I'm at a standstill in my current situation. I have begun to explore options available before I spend too much time in a job where I can't advance. My goal is to continue to take on new responsibilities and be a key contributor to the success of an online venture."
Why do you change jobs so often? "Mainly to learn and advance. I understand there's a lot of room for growth here, and I hope to stay a long time if I'm offered the job."

Did you get along with your previous boss? If you didn't, and know you can't use her as a reference, be candid but not bitter or complaining. "She's very professional and taught me a lot, and I'm grateful for that. But I would have liked more responsibilities than I was offered."
How would your boss describe you and your work style? "First, she'd say I have a lot of initiative - I see a big picture and do what has to be done to achieve results. Secondly, that I have business savvy - I know the business side as well as the technical side. And thirdly, I have a high work ethic - if I say I'm going to do something, I do it."
Why didn't you go further in school? "At the time, earning a living was more important. But I'm thinking of furthering my education now."
What do you do in your spare time? Say you keep up with current events and have been reading a best-selling business book (do it). Talk about any community activities you're involved in, but stress that those commitments won't interfere with work.
What interests you most about this position? Stress the opportunity you'll have to grow, learn and acquire new skills.
What interests you least about this position? Even if you hate filing, don't say so. Say, "I really don't see any major negatives. I can use the skills I already have and also learn new ones."
Why should we hire you? This is the big one, so really sell yourself. "I love a challenge and I'm a fast learner. I have experience in this area, so I'll be able to start with some idea of what I'm doing. Everything I know about this company makes me feel we'd be a good match."

What experience have you had that qualifies you for this position?. "I have experience working with e-commerce companies on the consulting side. I've managed teams and have strong experience with HTML and ASP. My communication skills and business acumen are my strengths. I can wear many hats and believe I can bring added value to a team effort."
What attracted you to this job? "I've been searching for a while now to find a company that had a business model and corporate philosophy like yours. I am interested in working for a company that provides products and services to the K-12 education market. My background is in this field, and my strength is in building relationships and solving problems. I am excited and interested in the idea of developing business relationships through e-commerce."

What are your salary expectations? "I really need more information about the job before we start to discuss salary. I'd like to postpone that discussion until later. Could you tell me what is budgeted for the position?"

What qualities do you think are important to this position? "To have a combination of technical and business knowledge and to be very results-oriented. My past record shows that I have those qualities and more. Because of my business acumen and technical know-how, the teams I have managed accomplished outstanding results, including booking more than $50 million in online revenue."
When have you been most motivated? "My first job in a Software Eng. I had to undergo some rigorous training to understand the product and customer. At the same time, we were actually working with the customer. It required a lot of self-direction and motivation. I thrived on the whole experience - the discipline, the planning and the deadlines. It was a pressure cooker, but I got through it."

Do you have any questions? (This is usually asked by the interviewer at the end of the interview.). "Yes, I do. Who are your financial backers? Who are the key competitors? Does the company have a plan for the IPO? What would you say is the best thing about your product/service?"
jyothi godavarthy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2004
Posts: 135
Thanks Sameer, that was very useful.
[ April 20, 2004: Message edited by: jyothi godavarthy ]
Billy Tsai
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Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
acutally i was asked that question in two interviews b4, and I was asked that question again last week when my company send us to a major telecommunication company in this country as technical consultants and that company had to interview the ppl our company sends first and then decide whether to accept them or not because they are paying lots.

BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
In short:
The Interviewer want's to know if your compatable with the companys culture.
- Svend
Manish Hatwalne
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Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2591

Have a look at these -
- Manish
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2591

Some "smarty" stuff here....
Not sure I would follow the advice, but have a look at this nvertheless...
- Manish
JiaPei Jen
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Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
Would anybody shed light on how to answer "what kind of positions are you looking for?"
Warren Dew
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
"Tell me about yourself"

The interviewer can't think of a better question, so they are stalling for time. It's your opportunity to mention all your strengths. Naturally, you won't have time to get to your faults.
"Why are you leaving your previous company/why do you want to work here?"

I recommend being perfectly honest on this one (unless perhaps you were fired for incompetence). If you tell them what you didn't like about your previous job, without sounding whiny, and the complaints don't apply to the job you're interviewing for, they'll just say, "oh, we're different here", which is fine. If the complaints do apply to the job you're interviewing for, they won't make you an offer - which is also good, because after all you don't want to switch to a new job just to find yourself in the same old bad situation. If you don't tell them, you may end up taking a job that makes you just as miserable as the old one.
seagullz peizhi

Joined: Jun 05, 2002
Posts: 13
thank you very much.
It is a great help for me.

i am a beginner ,thank you
Jesse Torres
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
When interviewers ask you to tell them about yourself, they don�t want you to tell them about your fascination with Hollywood or your butterfly collection. They want you to describe your ability to multitask, work well under pressure, your ability to rapidly acquire new skills, decision making, and capability to adapt to change.
Here is an example:
Interviewer: �Please tell me about yourself?�
Interviewee: �Well I was born and raised in Pleasantville and attended Honey Suckle H.S. I decided To attend *** College because based on my research, it is one of the top colleges in Pleasantville with a CS program.� (example of decision making)
�During school, I worked X amount of hours to support myself. With my school and work, it was a pressure cooker. Nevertheless, I thrived on the ability to use time wisely.� (this demonstrates your ability to multitask).
Give an example of a project that you were involved with at either school or work, and had the requirements changed. State how you had to learn a new skill on the fly to adapt to the new change(s). This will demonstrate your ability to acquire new skills and adapt to new changes.
My post is based on advice I received from hiring managers with Fortune 500 companies.
Good luck

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Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
My answer to the question was: "my dad's sperm slammed into my mother's egg, bounced back, whozzy, and dazed. It swam around the egg and continued to penetrate it, after three times, the sperm achieved its mission."
The story cracked the whole interview panel, they suggested me for shorter version with the time slot based on whoever paraphased the question.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Tell Me about Yourself
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